After a four year closure, the Phase 8 Clubhouse is undergoing renovations and will be available for students during the spring semester.
Setting an enrollment record for fall 2023 with 31,570 students, UTD ranks as one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Matthew Grief, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, said there is a need to implement changes that cater to students’ preferences and necessities, one being a prominent interest in increasing community engagement and spaces. As a multi-purpose housing compound, the Phase 8 Clubhouse was a staple location for first-year students to meet peers during Weeks of Welcome and served as a location for anything from group study sessions to Greek Life rush events. However, as the pandemic worsened in 2020, the condition of the Clubhouse did too. In response, the university shut down the complex to undergo various repairs and renovations, which Grief estimates will be completed within the next few weeks. Renovations include reconstructing most of the pool and enhancing the Clubhouse with new furniture and paint.
“During the first process of reconstruction, we found other problems,” Grief said. “So, we had to go through another quoting process, but the most recent work has been replacing the tiling, adding a base coat to the pool and finishing the trim work.”
Most dangerous, an area of the old pool with suspected dangerous wiring was accessible from the clubhouse. Along with the unplanned repairs, housing also faces the challeng of properly timing the renovations. Grief said the housing department must purposefully plan these renovations to avoid interfering with student parking and community spaces.
“Phase 8 Clubhouse is a part of a larger clubhouse renovation that we are doing all over University Village,” Grief said. “We just turned in the purchase of new furniture for all study rooms and facilities in UV. We are also adjusting the building to create more study space.”
Grief said that students are concerned about the lack of initiative to use space within UTD housing that benefits residents. Now more than ever, students want to maximize their time in university, especially after coming back to campus after online schooling during the pandemic. Thus, student organizations and peer advisor staff want community gathering spaces.
“We want to be able to support and reinvest in our buildings,” Grief said. “We are investing in the apartments in University Village with a heavy focus on how these facilities look and extend their life. We hope to reopen the Phase 8 Clubhouse in the next few weeks in the spring.”
However, housing faces a constant dilemma of whether to allocate funds to creating new buildings or renovating current ones. Grief said that as the university seeks to attract high-caliber students, the housing department also strives to be equipped for the future.
“We want to focus on what the student needs and try to address that as we can. Along with new construction, we are going to continue to renovate and continue to improve,” Grief said. “We spend a significant amount of money turning over units every year in preparation for incoming students so that investment will always be there.”